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Travel Policies: Expenses

How to handle expenses while traveling

Expense Reports / Cash Advances

In order for Calvin's travel policy to satisfy Internal Revenue Service (IRS) requirements for accountable plans, travelers must complete a business Travel Expense Report and also a Cash Advance Form if necessary. If inappropriate documentation is given for travel expenses, such expenses must be reported by Calvin as taxable income to the employee on his/her W-2 form at year-end.

Expense Report (travel reimbursement)

All travelers must fill out an Expense Report to report expenses incurred while traveling and to document all reimbursements requested due to travel. The traveler and his/her department chair/supervisor must sign the report. This report must be submitted to the Financial Services Office within 30 working days after completion of the trip. Please attach original receipts or customer copies identifying the name/address of the business, the date, itemized properly signed or stamped, if appropriate, to indicate that payment has been made for the service or products purchased. If same receipts are needed to document expenses on your college American Express Statement, attach originals to credit card statement and make copies for the Expense Report. All expenses must be stated in U.S. dollars.

Cash Advance Form

Cash Advances can be obtained by completing a Cash Advance Form and submitting it to a Financial Services teller. The repayment of cash advances is the responsibility of the traveler and he/she should complete the bottom portion of the Cash Advance Form and return to Financial Services. Repayment of Cash Advances can be made with either a personal check or with the remaining cash. Do not send cash remittances through ICM—hand deliver them to Financial Services Office. All Cash Advances must be reconciled within 30 days of being issued.

Reimbursable Expenses: All require receipts.

  • Lodging: A copy of the original hotel bill itemizing all charges;
  • Meals: Receipts are required for all meal expenses and should reflect amount of the tip;
  • Car Rental: If arrangements have not been made through either Carlson Wagonlit or Calvin Physical Plant, a copy of the car rental agreement is required;
  • Taxi/Bus/Limo/Shuttle: A receipt, if available, is required for all forms of private transportation;
  • City Bus/Subway: No receipt is required;
  • Parking/Tolls: Provide a receipt for all individual amounts, when available;
  • Entertainment Expenses: A receipt is required for the expense regardless of amount and explanation is required on Expense Report.
  • Phone Calls: Necessary long distance telephone calls and messages made while traveling are reimbursable. One personal call, of reasonable length, per day is reimbursable.
  • Other Expenses: A receipt for all other expenses is required regardless of amount.

Non-reimbursable Expenses:

  • Expense without required documentation;
  • Mileage reimbursement requests which do not document the starting and ending locations;
  • Demonstrate no clear, college business purpose;
  • Unreasonable amount spent;
  • Incremental expenses associated with spouse/family travel unrelated to business;
  • Personal expenses such as personal services, entertainment (including in-room movies), travel risk insurance, parking tickets and traffic violations, personal vehicle repairs, or personal credit card membership fees and charges.

Forms and Excel documents: